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Housing deficit now 2 million units – Minister

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, says the national housing deficit is in excess of two million housing units.

He said it was currently estimated that 60 per cent of the country’s population would need some form of government assistance to help them to get access to housing, while 35 per cent would not be able to access housing even with government support in terms of subsidy.

At the maiden discussion series christened “Home Ownership Series”, and initiated by the First National Bank, Glitz Africa Living and GLICO in Accra last Thursday, Mr Asenso-Boakye said the government recognised the enormity of the housing challenge that the country faced.

Glitz Africa is an exciting high-end celebrity, lifestyle and fashion brand which highlights the life of the contemporary African.

The Home Ownership Series is a new platform created to deepen national discourse on how to solve the national housing problem.

The maiden edition brought together stakeholders and policymakers in the industry to deliberate on the challenges in the sector and to suggest a pragmatic solution.

The event also witnessed the launch of the Glitz Africa Living Magazine, its latest brand extension which seeks to explore the rapidly growing property landscape in Ghana, featuring the best and latest in real estate and interior design trends, as well as the game-changers in the industry,

Housing Authority

Mr Asenso-Boakye said the government would set up a National Housing Authority (NHA) to lead the supply side of the housing market.

He said the NHA would not only serve as a regulator but would also plan, develop and manage housing development in the country.

He said the expectation was that the operations of the NHA would complement the activities of the newly-created National Housing and Mortgage Fund, which was to stimulate the demand side of the housing market to make housing accessible to the low-to-middle income earners.

“Ultimately, the objective for setting up the NHA is to decouple the planning, development and management of housing projects of the ministry from its core mandate of formulating, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of policies.

“Interventions in the past have been piecemeal, resulting in the country struggling with a housing deficit, currently in excess of two million housing units. Sadly, government-led housing projects suffer during the implementation stage, causing them to stall or be abandoned when there is a change in government,” he said.

FNB support

The Head of Home Loans at First National Bank, Mr Kojo Addo-Kuffuor, on behalf of players in the private housing sector, assured the sector minister of their support for the government’s efforts to address the challenges of housing in the country.

He said the discourse around finding solutions to the housing challenge had persisted, although the same causes had been identified on many occasions.

He mentioned the causes to include difficulty in title verifications, delays in legal systems and court processes, over reliance on imported building materials and the low earning power of potential buyers.

GREDA

During a panel discussion, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estates Developers Association (GREDA), Mr Samuel Amegayibor, said the country had failed in meeting its annual demands, resulting in the huge housing deficit.

He said the association was doing its best, but the environment had not been conducive to enable it to deliver.

“All partners must unravel together what is creating that unconducive environment for the private sector to support the government to resolve the housing challenges and find pragmatic solutions to them,” he said.

 

Source: Graphic.com.gh|Ghana

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